Towards a lexical profile of the Swedish verb lexicon

Åke Viberg

Abstract

This paper will provide a typological-contrastive sketch of the lexical semantic structure of the verb lexicon in Swedish based on data from translation corpora and the information on lexical typology currently available in published works. As a background, a brief survey is given of basic verbs in European languages. The major part of the paper is devoted to sketches of the most frequent verbs within some of the most basic semantic fields such as Posture, Location, Motion and Possession. Language-specific lexical differentiation is exemplified by the verbs of putting sätta-ställa-lägga and an example of an extensive language-specific pattern of polysemy is presented in an analysis of the very frequent verb ‘get, may’. The paper also discusses some cases of grammaticalization such as the use of ‘go’ as a marker of a specific type of possibility.

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STUF is a forum for scholarly articles in the realm of linguistic typology and universals research. The journal covers original empirical as well as theoretical studies of the structural diversity and/or of the invariants of human language(s). Contributions in the areas of areal typology and diachronic typology are also welcome.

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